How to Conjugate the German Verb Nehmen (to Take)

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The German verb nehmen means "to take". Here we will conjugate it in all its tenses and moods. While using the wrong conjugation probably wouldn't stop you from being understood, using the correct tense will make you sound more intelligent. Learning to use the proper conjugation will show that you have a better grasp on the language. It will also make you easier to understand.

Stem-Changing Verbs

German, like many other languages, has what is known as stem-changing verbs. This means that the stem or ending of the word is what changes based on who the action is referring to. These endings will remain consistent throughout the language for regular stem-changing verbs. Unlike in English, where "I take" and "we take" uses the same form of the verb, in German the stems of the verb would change. This can make learning the language easier because you only need to remember the roots of most verbs. Unfortunately, nehmen is also an irregular verb. This means there are times when it does not follow the normal rules of stem-changing verbs.

Present Tense • Präsens

Principal Parts: nehmen (nimmt) nahm genommen
Imperative (Commands): (du) Nimm! (ihr) Nehmt! Nehmen Sie!

Present Tense - Präsens

Stem-Changing Verbs: The verb NEHMEN is both a stem-changing verb and an irregular (strong) verb. Notice the change from e to i in the du and er/sie/es present tense forms. The past participle is genommen.

ich nehme I take/am taking
du nimmst you take/are taking
er nimmt
sie nimmt
es nimmt
he takes/is taking
she takes/is taking
it takes/is taking
wir nehmen we take/are taking
ihr nehmt you (guys) take/are taking
sie nehmen they take/are taking
Sie nehmen you take/are taking


  • Wir nehmen den Zug. - We're taking the train.
  • Er nimmt das Buch. - He's taking the book.

Nehmen: Conjugated in All Tenses

Past Tenses • Vergangenheit

The German verb nehmen (to take) conjugated in all its tenses and moods

Simple Past Tense - Imperfekt

ich nahm I took
du nahmst you took
er nahm
sie nahm
es nahm
he took
she took
it took
wir nahmen we took
ihr nahmt you (guys) took
sie nahmen they took
Sie nahmen you took

Compound Past Tense (Pres. Perfect) - Perfekt

ich habe genommen I took/have taken
du hast genommen you took/have taken
er hat genommen
sie hat genommen
es hat genommen
he took/has taken
she took/has taken
it took/has taken
wir haben genommen we took/have taken
ihr habt genommen you (guys) took
have taken
sie haben genommen they took/have taken
Sie haben genommen you took/have taken

Past Perfect Tense - Plusquamperfekt

ich hatte genommen I had taken
du hattest genommen you had taken
er hatte genommen
sie hatte genommen
es hatte genommen
he had taken
she had taken
it had taken
wir hatten genommen we had taken
ihr hattet genommen you (guys) had taken
sie hatten genommen they had taken
Sie hatten genommen you had taken
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Your Citation
Flippo, Hyde. "How to Conjugate the German Verb Nehmen (to Take)." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Flippo, Hyde. (2023, April 5). How to Conjugate the German Verb Nehmen (to Take). Retrieved from Flippo, Hyde. "How to Conjugate the German Verb Nehmen (to Take)." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 5, 2023).